RIC Constable James Murray

RIC Constable James Murray (aged 26) from Queen’s County (Main Street, Clonakilty)

Date of incident: 27 July 1920

Sources: CE, 29 July 1920; CC, 30 July 1920; Weekly Summary of Outrages against the Police, July 1920 (CO 904/148-50, TNA); Ted Hayes’s WS 1575, 6 (BMH); Abbott (2000), 106.


Note: Two or three Volunteers shot Constable Murray as he was walking along the street in Clonakilty at about 10 p.m. on 27 July 1920; the fatal bullet ‘penetrated the skull and brain’. Immediately after the mortal wounding (he survived for about two hours), ‘an attempt was made to burn the Town Hall, the staircase being set fire to’. None of the jurors summoned to the inquest actually came, and the inquest had to be abandoned. See CE, 29 July 1920. According to Ted Hayes, intelligence officer of the Clonakilty Battalion of the West Cork Brigade, Murray was targeted because he had made himself ‘very active in seeking out I.R.A. men and was generally making himself very obnoxious. He was shot on the corner of Pearse St and Rossa St. . . . by Stephen O’Neill, John Nyhan (“Flyer”), and, I think, Dan Harte.’ See Ted Hayes’s WS 1575, 6 (BMH). Murray had only eight months of service with the RIC; he had previously been a soldier and had served with the Irish Guards during the Great War.

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